Mineral Database

Mineral Database

Bannisterite

Crystal System: Monoclinic
Formula: KCa(Mn,Fe2+,Zn,Mg)20(Si,Al)32O76(OH)16 •4-12H2O
Status of Occurrence: Confirmed Occurrence - 1st UK recording
Distribution: Rare
Chemical Composition: Potassium calcium manganese iron zinc magnesium aluminium silicate hydroxide hydrate
Method(s) of Verification: Benallt Mine - XRD analysis (Smith & Frondel, 1968).
Pale brown bannisterite intergrown with white calcite from Benallt Mine, Pen Ll?n. Specimen 5.5 cm across. National Museum of Wales specimen no. NMW 2007.7G.M.1. © National Museum of Wales.
Chemical Group:
  • Silicates
Geological Context:
  • Metamorphic : low-grade
Introduction: bannisterite is a rare mineral typically found in metamorphosed manganese and zinc deposits. It is named after Dr. F.A. Bannister, former Keeper of Minerals at the British Museum (Natural History), London who researched the mineralogy of Benallt Mine, where bannisterite was first discovered.
Occurrence in Wales: the only occurrence of bannisterite known from Wales is from the type locality at Benallt Mine. Type material is held at the Natural History Museum, London, registered as B.M. 1967, 321.
Key Localities:
  • Benallt Mine, LlÅ·n, Gwynedd: Campbell Smith (1948) recorded ganophyllite in veins cutting manganese ore from TÅ· Canol incline of Benallt Mine, LlÅ·n but noted that the six-sided brown crystals (<1 mm) had two optical forms. Smith & Frondel (1968) later demonstrated that these cinnamon-brown crystals could be separated into two different minerals; ganophyllite and a new mineral bannisterite. The bannisterite is associated with calcite and is found on fractures surfaces of the manganese ore.
References:
  • Campbell Smith, W., 1948 Ganophyllite from the Benallt Mine, Rhiw, Caernarvonshire.  Mineralogical Magazine, 28, 343-352.
  • Smith, M.L. & Frondel, C., 1968 The related layered minerals ganophyllite, bannisterite, and stilpnomelane.  Mineralogical Magazine, 36, 893-913.